The Brahmanda Purana

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 319,243 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes the race of priyavrata which is Chapter 14 of the English translation of the Brahmanda Purana: one of the oldest puranas including common Puranic elements such as cosmogony, genealogy, ethics, geography and yoga. Traditionally, the Brahmandapurana is said to consist of 12,000 verses metrical Sanskrit verses.

Chapter 14 - The race of Priyavrata

Summary: The race of Priyavrata: Description of Continents and their Sub-Divisions.

1. In all the Manvantaras of the past and the future, all the subjects are born with similar identification in regard to names and forms.[1]

2. The Devas who are of eight types are the overlords in that Manvantara. The sages and the Manus—all of them serve the same purpose.

3. The creation of the great sages was already recounted. Now understand the race of Svāyambhuva Manu, that is being recounted in detail and in due order.

4-5. Svāyambhuva Manu had ten grandsons who were similar to him. The entire earth consisting of seven continents was colonised by them along with its towns, oceans and mines in every sub-continent in the first Tretā yuga of the Svāyambhuva Manvantara.

6. This (Earth) was colonised by those sons of Priyavrata, the grandson of Svāyambhuva (Manu) who were endowed with progeny, strength and penance.

7. Kāmyā that extremely fortunate daughter of Kardama the Prajāpati, bore unto Priyavrata heroic sons endowed with their own progeny.

8-9. She gave birth to two daughters, viz.: Samrāṭ and Kukṣi. Both of them were splendid. She gave birth to ten sons also. The brothers of those two daughters were ten in number, valorous and similar to the Prajāpatis. They were Āgnīdhra, Agnibāhu, Medhas, Medhātithi, Vasu (later mentioned as Vapuṣmān), Jyotiṣmān, Dyutimān, Havya, Savana and Sattra.

10. Priyavrata crowned seven of them in seven-continents as kings with due religious rites. Understand them as well as those continents.

11. He made the excessively powerful Āgnīdhra, the lord of Jambūdvīpa. Medhātithi was made by him the lord of Plakṣadvīpa.

12. He crowned Vapuṣmān (Earlier mentioned as Vasu) as king in the Śālmala dvīpa. The lord made Jyotiṣmān, the king in Kuśa dvīpa.

13. He coronated Dyutimān as the king in Krauñca dvīpa; Priyavrata made Havya the lord of Śāka dvīpa.

14-17. The lord made Savana the overlord of Puṣkara. In Puṣkara dvīpa, Savana had two sons, viz.: Mahāvīta and Dhātaki. These two sons were the most excellent ones that parents could desire. In accordance with the name of that noble soul, his sub-continent is remembered as Mahāvīta varṣa. In accordance with the name of Dhātaki, his sub-continent is called Dhātakīkhaṇḍa.

Havya (the lord of Śākadvīpa) begot seven sons, rulers of Śākadvīpa. They were, viz.: Jalada, Kumāra, Sukumāra, Maṇīvaka, Kusumottara, Modāka and the seventh one Mahādruma.

18-21.[2] The first sub-continent of Jalada is called Jalada. The second sub-continent of Kumāra is glorified as Kaumāra.

The third one Sukumāra is remembered as the sub-continent of Sukumāra. The fourth one is called Maṇīvaka, the sub-continent of Maṇīva.

The fifth sub-continent Kusumottara is that of Kusumottara. Modāka the sixth sub-continent is glorified as that of Modāka.

The seventh sub-continent is Mahādruma in accordance with the name of Mahādruma.

All those seven sub-continents there are called after their names.

22-23. There were seven sons born of Dyutimān, the lord of Krauñcadvīpa[3] viz.: Kuśala, Manonuga, Uṣṇa, Pāvana, Andhakāraka, Muni and Dundubhi. These were the sons of Dyutimān. They have after their own names, the splendid sub-continents situated in the Krauñcadvīpa.

24-26. The land of Kuśala named Kauśala was very famous. Manonuga is remembered as the land of Manonuga.

Uṣṇa is remembered as the land of Uṣṇa and Pāvana that of Pāvana. That land of Andhakāra is glorified as Andhakāra.

Maunideśa was the land of Muni and Dundubhi is remembered as the land of Dundubhi.

These seven lands in the Krauñcadvīpa were radiant ones.

27-30. Jyotiṣmān too in the Kuśadvīpa had seven very powerful sons[4] viz.: Udbhijja, Veṇumān, Vairatha, Lavaṇa, Dhṛti, the sixth one Prabhākara and the seventh one remembered as Kapila.

The first sub-continent is called Udbhijja; the second sub-continent was Veṇumaṇḍala; the third sub-continent was Vairathākāra; the fourth sub-continent is remembered as Lavaṇa; the fifth sub-continent was Dhṛtimat; the sixth subcontinent was Prabhākara; the seventh sub-continent named Kapila was glorified as that of Kapila. Their lands in the Kuśadvīpa have the same names as they.

31. The Lords of Śālmala were (as if) embellished with subjects endowed with the disciplined conduct of life pertaining to the various Āśramas (stages of life).

They were the seven sons of Vapuṣmān.[5]

32. They were:—Śveta, Harita, Jīmūta, Rohita, Vaidyuta, Mānasa and Suprabha, the seventh one.

33-34. Śveta was the land of Śveta; Suharita was that of Harita; Jīmūta was the land of Jīmūta and Rohita that of Rohita. Vaidyuta was the land of Vaidyuta and Mānasa that of Mānasa. Suprabha was the land of Suprabha. All these seven were the protectors of the lands.

35. I shall recount Plakṣadvīpa after the Jambūdvīpa. The seven sons of Medhātithi were the kings ruling over Plakṣadvīpa.

36-37[6]. These were the sons of Medhātithi who are mentioned (as follows:) The eldest was named Śāntabhaya; the second is remembered as Śiśira: Sukhodaya was the third; the fourth is called Nanda; Śiva was the fifth among them; Kṣemaka is called sixth, and Dhruva should be known as the seventh.

38-43. Those seven Varṣas (sub-continents) are known after the names of those seven (sons). Therefore the following (are well known), viz.: Śāntabhaya, Śiśira, Sukhodaya, Ānanda, Śiva, Kṣemaka and Dhruva. Those Varṣas were all equal (to one another). They were colonized in the different parts formerly in the Svāyambhuva Manvantara by those sons of Meḍhātithi who were kings and rulers of Plakṣadvīpa. The subjects in the Plakṣadvīpa were made to closely adhere to the disciplined conduct of life of the various castes and stages of life.

It is the Dharma[7] (piety, virtue) that is the criterion for the classification of the Varṇas and Āśramas in the five continents beginning with Plakṣadvīpa and ending with Śākadvīpa (i.e. Plakṣa, Śālmala, Kuśa, Krauñca and Śāka). Happiness, span of life, beauty, strength and Dharma (Virtue) are remembered to be common to all perpetually, in these five Dvīpas. Plakṣadvīpa has been described. Understand the Jambūdvīpa.

44. Priyavrata installed Āgnīdhra, the extremely powerful son of Kāmyā and his eldest successor as the king and over-lord of Jambūdvīpa.

45-47. Nine sons were born to him.[8] They were on a par with the Prajāpatis.

The eldest was well known as Nābhi. Kimpuruṣa was his younger brother. Harivarṣa was the third and the fourth was Ilāvṛta. Ramya was the fifth son, Hiraṇvān is mentioned as his sixth son. Kuru was the seventh among them. Bhadrāśva is remembered as the eighth and the ninth was Ketumāla.

Understand their realms.

48-52 The father gave Nābhi the southern Varṣa named Hima; he gave Kimpuruṣa that Varṣa, called Hemakūṭa. He gave Harivarṣa that sub-continent which is remembered as Naiṣadha. He gave Ilāvṛta the sub-continent that was in the middle of Sumeru. The father gave Ramya, the sub-continent that is remembered as Nīla. The sub-continent Śveta that was situated to the north of it was given by the father to Hiraṇvān. He gave to Kuru the sub-continent that was to the north of Śṛṅgavān. Similarly, he allotted to Bhadrāśva the sub-continent Mālyavat. He assigned the sub-continent Gandhamādana to Ketumāla. Thus these nine sub-continents have been narrated by me, part by part.

53. Āgnīdhra crowned those sons in due order in those sub-continents. Thereafter, that pious-souled one became engaged in penance.

54. Thus the entire earth consisting of the seven continents was colonized by the seven sons of Priyavrata, who were the grandsons of Svāyambhuva Manu.

55. Thus, when annihilation takes place, these seven settlements (continents) are created again and again by the kings in all the seven sub-continents.

56-58. This is the nature of colonization of the continents and the Kalpas.

With regard to the eight sub-continents beginning with that of Kimpuruṣa (the following things should be noted). Their attainment is natural. Without effort they are generally happy. There s no annihilation or calamity in them. There is no fear from old age and death. There is neither Dharma (Virtue) nor Adharma (evil) among them. There is no classification of people as the excellent, the middling and the base. In all those eight Kṣetras (i.e. Varṣas, sub-continents) there is no Yugāvasthā (the state of Yugas).

59-61. I shall recount the procreation by Nābhi in the sub-continent called Hima. Understand it. Nābhi begot a highly lustrous son, of Meru-Devī. He was Ṛṣabha,[9] the most excellent of all kings. He was the eldest of all Kṣatriyas. Heroic Bharata was born of Ṛṣabha. He was the eldest of hundred sons. Ṛṣabha crowned his son and engaged himself in Mahāpravrajyā (the great migration of renunciation i.e. journey or pilgrimage till death). He allotted the southern sub-continent named Hima to Bharata.

62-63. Hence learned men know this sub-continent as Bhāratavarṣa[10] after his name. Bharata’s son was a virtuous scholar named Sumati. Bharata crowned him in that realm. After transferring the royal glory to his son the king entered the forest.

64. His son Tejasa was a lord of the subjects and conqueror of enemies. The great scholar, Indradyumna is remembered as Tejasa’s son.

65-66. Parameṣṭhin, his son, was born after his death and his son was Pratīhāra and the family came to be known after his name. In his family a son well known as Pratihartṛ was born. To that intelligent Pratihartṛ, son Unnetṛ was born. Bhūman is. remembered as his son.

67. His son was Udgītha. Prastāvi was his son. Vibhu was the son Prastāvi and Pṛthu was his son.

68. Pṛthu’s son was Nakta. Gaya was Nakta’s son. Nara was born as the son of Gaya and Virāṭ was the son of Nara.

69. Mahāvīrya was the son of Virāṭ. His son was Dhīman. Mahān was the son of Dhīman and Bhauvana was the son of Mahān.

70. Tvaṣṭṛ was the son of Bhauvana. His son was Virajas. Rajas was the son of Nirajas and Śatajit was the son of Rajas.

71. He had hundred sons. All of them were kings. The important one among them was Viśvajyotis. It is through them, that these subjects flourished.

72. This Bhārata sub continent was marked by them as one with seven islands. Formerly, this Bhāratī land was enjoyed by those born of their family.

73-75. Each set of Yugas consists of Kṛta, Tretā etc. (The Manvantara consists of) such seventy-one sets of Yugas. People belonging to their family had been kings throughout the past Yugas in the Svāyambhuva Manvantara. They were hundreds and thousands.

Thus is the creation (race) of Svāymbhuva by which this universe is filled with sages, deities, Pitṛs, Gandharvas, Rākṣasas, Yakṣas, Bhūtas, Piśācas, human beings, animals and birds. This is said to be their creation. It undergoes change along with the Yugas.

Note on Priyavrata’s sons:

Names of Priyavrata’s Sons Names of the Dvīpa assigned as kingdom :

1. Āgnīdhra Jambū
2. Agnibāhu
3. Medhas
4. Medhātithi Plakṣa
5. Vasu (Vapuṣmān) Śālmala
6. Jyotiṣmān Kuśa
7. Dyutimān Krauñca
8. Havya Śāka
9. Savana Puṣkara
10. Sattra _

Footnotes and references:


This is the main thesis of the Purāṇa. This chapter deals with Puranic cosmography. It associates the names of continents (dvīpas) with the descendants of Svāyambhuva Manu. For similar description vide A.P.107, KP.I.40 Bh. P.V 16.1-26, Mt.P.112, 121, 122.


VV.18-22. The seven sub-divisions of Śākadvīpa are named after the seven sons of Havya.


VV.22-26 enumerate seven sub-divisions of Krauñcadvīpa which are named after the seven sons of Dyutimān.


VV.27-30. The seven sub-divisions of Kuśadvīpa are named after the seven sons of Jyotiṣmān, king of Kuśadvīpa.


The seven sons of Vapuṣmān mentioned in the next verse have given their names to the Varṣas or sub-continents they headed.


VV.36-40 enumerate seven sons of king Medhātithi, who became kings of seven Varṣas—sub-continents—which were named after their founder-kings.


VV.41-43 describe the common features of the five continents from Plakṣa to Śākadvīpa.


VV.45-52 enumerate the sub-continents in Jambūdvipa. For the identification of mountains vide Ch. 1 Footnotes on pp. 11, 12.


He is regarded as the first Tīrthaṅkara by Jains. He is mentioned in the Bh.P. V.Chs. 4, 5 and in VP. II.1-28.


Jaina tradition supports this theory regarding the name of Bhāratavarṣa.

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